Sacred Readings Archive
TOPIC: Hope, Optimism: the Divine Point of
View - (by Cherag Regina Coeli McKnight)
FROM THE HINDU SCRIPTURES
The Bhagavad Gita 18
Because I love thee well, I will
speak to thee words of salvation. Give thy mind to me, and give me
thy heart, and thy sacrifice, and thy adoration. This is my Word
of promise; thou shalt in truth come to me, for thou art dear to
me. Leave all things behind, and come to me for thy salvation.
I will make thee free from the bondage of sins. Fear no more.
Hast thou heard these words, Arjuna, in the silent communion of thy soul?
Has the darkness of thy delusion been dispelled by thine inner Light?
By thy grace I remember my Light,
and now gone is my delusion. My doubts are no more, my faith is firm;
and now I can say 'Thy will be done.'
FROM THE BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES
The followers of Buddha Gotama are
awake and forever watch; and ever by night and by day they remember the
Truth of the Law. The followers of Buddha Gotama are awake and forever
watch; and ever by night and by day they remember the holy brotherhood.
The followers of Buddha Gotama are awake and forever watch; and ever by
night and by day they find joy in love for all beings. The followers
of Buddha Gotama are awake and forever watch; and ever by night and by
day they find joy in supreme contemplation.
FROM THE ZOROASTRIAN SCRIPTURES
The Zend Avesta of Zarathustra
Inspired by Thy Benevolent Mind,
do I approach Thee and beseech Thee to grand me as a bountiful gift, those
attainments to be derived from the Divine Order of Asha. O Thou Cosmic
Order! And Thou Universal Mind! I will worship Thee Ahura Mazda
because of whom the Creative Mind within us is causing the Imperishable
Kingdom to progress.
So long as I be able and may have
the power, so long will I teach the people concerning those deeds to be
done by them with faith toward Mazda, and in the desire for the coming
of the Cosmic Order of Asha into their souls and their bodies....And do
Thou, O Mazda! O Great Creator! Come to me with Thy Creative
Mind! And do Thou, Who bestoweth gifts through Thy Cosmic Order,
bestow alike, long-lasting gifts upon us, that this life may be spend
FROM THE JEWISH SCRIPTURES
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall
He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before
me in the presence of mine enemies; thou annointest my head with
oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow
me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the
Lord for ever.
FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES;
Being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have
access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of
the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in
tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience, experience;
and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto
And not only so, but we also joy
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the
FROM THE ISLAMIC SCRIPTURES
By the light of day, and by the fall
of night, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor does he abhor you.
The life to come holds a richer prize for you than this present life.
You shall be gratified with what your Lord will give you.
FROM THE GAYAN, VADAN AND NIRTAN
OF HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN
Optimism is the result of love.
You will find reasons, whether you
want to be pessimistic or optimistic, to support your view.
It is the spirit of hopelessness
that blocks the path of man and prevents his advancement.
The essence of life is hope.
If we hope to be better, we shall become better.
The shade adds to the light as zero
adds to the number.
Put your trust in God for support
and see His hidden hand working through all sources.
In the influence that controls a
situation the hand of God is seen.
Additional Material FROM HAZRAT
Hope is a quality sometimes
dependent on its object, sometimes independent of it, and these two different
aspects of hope are the cause of two different natures, the optimistic
and the pessimistic.
When the dependent nature
is developed it makes man a pessimist, and when hope stands alone, without
dependence, this develops optimism. The optimistic person compared
to the pessimistic may seem blind, and no doubt, he is at times blind.
But without doubt, as blind people develop a faculty of doing things without
sight which people with seeing eyes cannot do, so the optimist can accomplish
things without knowing how or why. Hope cannot be called sureness
of certainty, but it is a feeling which, almost by its own force, may bring
sureness and certainty. Hope dependent upon reason is weak, and the
more dependent the weaker it is. No doubt hope together with reason
is strong, perhaps stronger than hope alone, but in proportion as reason
supports hope, so hope depends on reason, and as in many cases in life
reason cannot reach the object of hope, hope then sinks.
In fact hope is more than
a faculty or a quality, hope may be called the substance of life.
Wise and foolish, rich and poor, all live in some hope. Hope can
prolong life and lack of hope can shorten it. The joy that one gets
from hope is greater than the joy that comes from the possession of the
object hoped for. Therefore there is a Sanskrit saying that Brahma
in the creation took honey from all the flowers and that this honey was
hope. The interpretation is that out of all things that are beautiful
and that give joy and happiness the essence is taken and that essence is
Hope is strengthened by reason,
but it stands on the foundation of patience, for it is possible that in
spite of all reasons a person may completely give up hope, if patience
is lacking. If I used the poetical expression that the rocks and
trees are standing in the deserts and forests resting in hope, that would
be no exaggeration, because to the eyes of the mystic every aspect of life
shows that it is standing in hope. This can be better seen in the
life of human beings, because every person seems to be waiting from day
to day and from hour to hour for something to come that he is hoping for.
The loss of hope is worse than the loss of life, and provided that hope
stands by man's side, though no one else stands by him it does not matter.
GATHA 1, METEPHYSICS, HOPE - HAZRAT
Spirit of Optimism
There is no such thing as impossible.
All is possible. Impossible is made by the limitation of our capacity
of understanding. Man, blinded by the law of nature's working, by
the law of consequences which he has known through his few years life on
earth, begins to say, "This is possible and that is impossible."
If he were to rise beyond limitations, his soul would see nothing but possible.
And when the soul has risen high enough to see all possibility, that soul
certainly has caught a glimpse of God.
They say God is all-mighty;
and I say, God is all-possible. Possibility is the nature of God,
and impossibility is the art of man. Man goes so far, and cannot
go any further. Man makes a flower out of paper, giving it as natural
a color as possible, yet he says it is not possible to make it fragrant,
for he has his limitations. But God, Who is the Maker of the flower
and who is the Giver of the fragrance, has all power, and man, who is weakened
by his limitedness, becomes more and more limited the more he thinks of
it. In this is created the spirit of pessimism.
Man who is conscious of God
Almighty, and who in the contemplation of God loses the consciousness of
his own self, inherits the power of God, and it is in this power and belief
that the spirit of optimism is born.
GITHA 2 SPIRIT OF OPTIMISM - HAZRAT